Youth of Today?

29 August 2009

Welcome to the archive

This post is old… It's probably been exported and imported from at least three different blogging platforms over the year. That probably means that there are broken images and links. If the post is technical in nature, any adivce is out of date and irrelevant. Or more likely, it was the wafflings of bored-past me with too much time on his hands. If it is the latter I would probably cringe if I re-read it. But it's here because it's part of my past, not my present.

Firstly I would like to open with an apology for my absence on this blog for the last two weeks, those who have been following my twitter will have seen that I have been stuck in a field!  I've been helping on another Christian holiday camp called Rempstone.  It was a really fun, but tiring, several days!  Now onto the real topic:

One of the things I had been thinking about while I've been in Worthing is trying to find a different church while I am down south.  The decision was made for me as Dad has just picked up a new job at a church in Hove, however I had got as far as writing out a list of qualities I was looking for in the church alongside a list of churches in the area, of course the qualities were completely impossible to fill, however I felt it was something I should do!

One of the things I thought I was looking for was a 'young church'.  I don't mean a church that had newly been built, rather a church where there was lots of young people.  This ideal was one that I now think is somewhat misguided...

As a culture of youth we are looking for the youth of today to rise up and take roles in society, we are constantly pushing young people to achieve high position jobs, employment where they are making big decisions with repercussions.  I will say now that I don't think this is totally wrong, more unwise to do this unguided.

Within this 'young church' one of the qualities I was imagining was younger people in positions of leadership, in my idea making it a lively church with room for change to happen quickly.

The issue is that we value the idea of keeping up to date with a youthful appearance, however the more and more I think about it the more of a disservice I felt I did with my initial list of things I wanted with the church I was looking for.   By alienating the elder end of the congregations in my 'ideal church' I would automatically cut off many personal experience, knowledge and wisdom that had been gained and could be shared.

One of the things I have valued so much with in my church at Lincoln, is the huge variety of age range within the church, right from the young families with the small children all the way up to the older members.  It is those elder people that have so much that we can learn from, they may not be in touch with the latest technological toy, or up to date with the latest blockbuster film, however their personal or spiritual insight isn't dulled by this.  In addition these people often see things that are completely oblivious to us, having been in the same situation before and recognise the route.

A guy called Stephen Christian, who prompted me to write this, said:

"What happen to the word 'mentor'? I feel that it is a lost art and life left to the past. I admit that besides my father I do not have one, it's not that I am not open to it, I just feel that this current culture does not extend its hand to such. My challenge is to somehow come up with ideas on how to incorporate people 20 years older than you, or more, into your life."
We have so much that we can learn from those who lived before us, and it makes no sense to simply push them aside because as young people we feel that we can do things better.  We must figure out to live with everybody and to learn from them.

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